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Bay Of Naples
Raymond Belmont
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Examples of Treatment

Raymond Belmont on Domino – G. Moss Arnold 1880

Painting before Restoration Painting after Restoration

Painting before Restoration

Painting after Restoration

Before treatment the canvas was loose on the stretcher, had corner draws (the lines radiating from the lower left corner–see note 1 below), and had several small puncture holes and tears. The worse tear was the horizontal tear in the sky portion of the painting in which the tear had opened to nearly 1/4 inch and could not be rejoined. The painting was also covered by a thick grime layer.

Treatment

  1. The grime layer was removed from the surface of the painting
  2. The canvas was removed from the stretcher and was flattened with controlled moisture and weights
  3. The tears were realigned and were held together with small patches of mulberry paper and adhesive. The open area of the tear in the sky was filled with an insert of canvas taken from the tacking edge and carefully cut to exactly fit into the opening of the tear (see note 2 below)
  4. The painting was lined onto linen
  5. All areas of paint loss were filled
  6. A new varnish was applied to the painting
  7. The areas of loss were retouched
Painting during Restoration
Painting before retouching
note 1. Corner draws are caused by uneven tension caused by keying-out the stretcher. Keying out refers to hammering the wedges (keys) into the openings in the corners on the reverse of the stretcher. Stretchers are designed to be expanded by the use of keys (or other mechanical devices) which can place a loose canvas into tension. However, at times excessive keying usually coupled with an original uneven stretching of the canvas will result in corner draws. It should also be noted that keying-out an old brittle canvas will often result in tears along the tacking edges and should only be done with great care.
note 2. Areas of missing canvas should always be filled with inserts of a similar canvas weave (this is why often a piece of the painting’s tacking edges will be utilized if possible). This is for two reasons: first, it allows for a better imitation of the painting surface which facilitates retouching and second, if a large area of canvas loss is filled with gesso, spackle or putty, it will tend to crack in the future.